NFL Rumors: Cleveland Browns Could Continue to Start Quarterback Joe Flacco

The Cleveland Browns are trying to make the best of a tough situation at quarterback, and they may have found their answer in former Baltimore Raven Joe Flacco. The Super Bowl XLVII MVP continued to take first-team reps in practice as quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson recovers from a concussion. Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt wouldn't commit to a Week 14 starter, but he noted he believes Thompson-Robinson remains in concussion protocol. Given Flacco's performance in Week 13 against the Los Angeles Rams, there should be no reason to rush Thompson-Robinson back to the field. Flacco's 240 net passing yards were the second-most of any Browns quarterback this season behind only Deshaun Watson's 263 in a Week 3 27-3 win over the Tennessee Titans.

Flacco's first start should be heartening for Browns fans who have felt deflated since losing Watson to a shoulder injury for the season. Flacco was hardly exceptional, but the 7-5 Browns have won without elite quarterback play so far this season; Flacco's 226.5 passing yards per game and 1.7 interception percentage since 2018 would actually be significant improvements on the production Browns passers averaged through 12 weeks (201.6 PYPG, 3.3 INT%).

If the Browns can sneak into the playoffs, they may even be better off with Flacco's steady hand. His 10 postseason wins trail only Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers for most among active quarterbacks, and his 2012 postseason is among the greatest the position has ever seen (1140 passing yards, 11 passing touchdowns, 0 interceptions). The Browns can even match the Ravens' formula that allowed Flacco to pile up those wins: their defense has allowed the fewest yards in the league this season (260.5).
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